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Unit of study_

CISS6022: Cybersecurity

The digital revolution has created new frontiers of information that influence almost every aspect of our lives. But does cyberspace also threaten our security? What are the methods and motives for attack? And how can state and non-state actors respond? Drawing on a unique combination of expertise from the Centre for International Security Studies and the School of Information Technologies, this unit introduces students to the technical and political concepts that are necessary to answer these important questions.


Academic unit Government and International Relations
Unit code CISS6022
Unit name Cybersecurity
Session, year
Semester 2, 2021
Attendance mode Normal day
Location Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Credit points 6

Enrolment rules

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff and contact details

Coordinator Scott Bragg,
Lecturer(s) Farnaz Farid ,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Assignment Short Answer Questions
Question responses related to computer science topics
15% Multiple weeks ~200 words per week
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3
Participation Seminar Participation
Seminar Participation
10% Ongoing Ongoing Across Semester
Outcomes assessed: LO2 LO3 LO1
Assignment Oral Presentation
Presentation evaluating of a nation's cyber strengths and weaknesses
20% Please select a valid week from the list below
Due date: 10 Oct 2021 at 23:59
8-10 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3
Skills-based evaluation Equivalent lab exercise
Explore the security vulnerabilities in a virtual box environment
15% Week 07
Due date: 26 Sep 2021 at 23:59
To be announced
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2
Assignment hurdle task Analytical essay
Final task. Topics distributed no later than Week 6.
40% Week 12
Due date: 14 Nov 2021 at 23:59
3,500 words + footnotes and bibliography
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3
hurdle task = hurdle task ?

Further detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a High distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a Distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Special consideration

If you experience short-term circumstances beyond your control, such as illness, injury or misadventure or if you have essential commitments which impact your preparation or performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Introduction: Cyber Security in Global Context Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 02 Computers and Controls Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 03 Cyber Crime: BECs, Ransomware, and Cryptocurrency Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 04 Cryptography Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2
Week 05 Programming and Malware Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 06 Cyber Conflict (Part 1) Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO3
Week 07 Cyber Conflict (Part 2) Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO3
Week 08 Internet and Network Threats Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 09 Control, Surveillance and Hacktivism Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 10 Emerging Tech: New Frontiers for Cyber Security Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Week 11 Technical Defence and Counter Measures Seminar (2 hr) LO2 LO3
Week 12 Blue Teams, Red Teams, and SOCs Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3
Reform, Rules and Laws Seminar (2 hr) LO1 LO3

Attendance and class requirements

  • Attendance: According to Faculty Board Resolutions, students in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences are expected to attend 90% of their classes. If you attend less than 50% of classes, regardless of the reasons, you may be referred to the Examiner’s Board. The Examiner’s Board will decide whether you should pass or fail the unit of study if your attendance falls below this threshold.

  • Lecture recording: Most lectures (in recording-equipped venues) will be recorded and may be made available to students on the LMS. However, you should not rely on lecture recording to substitute your classroom learning experience.

  • Preparation: Students should commit to spend approximately three hours’ preparation time (reading, studying, homework, essays, etc.) for every hour of scheduled instruction.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

All readings for this unit can be accessed on the Library eReserve link available on Canvas.

  • Required textbook: Pfleeger, Security in Computing, 5th Edition (2015)

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University’s graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. critically analyse important concepts and conceptual challenges regarding cyber security
  • LO2. demonstrate some familiarity with basic countermeasures to common avenues of attack
  • LO3. formulate and communicate written and verbal arguments about politics and technology.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities
The content of the unit has been revised. A new topic (cyber propaganda and disinformation) has been added.


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